A Guide to the Best Things Money Can Buy
Young professionals sound off on where their money would go in the name of happiness
They say money can’t buy happiness, but we beg to differ. Like most other abstract concepts, there is no one way to define it anyway. We group something as multi-faceted as happiness with the likes of love (is it a feeling? A verb? A choice? An open door?), faith, bravery or fear––you know where I’m getting at.
Chemistry and Biology chalk it up to endorphins, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin released by the brain. Google, meanwhile, tells us that it’s “the state of being happy” (ah, classic Google) and goes hand-in-hand with things like contentment, pleasure and satisfaction. Further giving color, Psychology broadly defines happiness as a combination of pleasant feelings you can experience from the sense of accomplishment when you finish a task, that first bite off a tender, juicy burger you’ve been craving all week or even something as mundane as the smell of an old book.
The cold, hard-to-swallow pill is that, at some point, happiness or moments leading up to it involves a little money. And coming from the “money can’t buy happiness” crowd, I suppose it’s normal to strongly deny the idea at first. But hey, money is your asset; heck, you spend eight hours a day, five days a week just to earn it. To think plainly that it’s something vile or that it makes you superficial to enjoy the spoils of your hard work is counterproductive. Let’s embrace it: money keeps us comfortable. It gives us access to opportunities, grows if invested, and most importantly, puts food on the table.
From sound investments to dream purchases and items earmarked for the future, ahead, Millennials and other young professionals sound off on the best things money can buy—all linked to their perception of happiness.
JB Estrada, @jbestrada_
“A house & lot, and long-term health or medical insurances.”
Isabella Velasquez, @isabvelasquez
Singer & Social Media Manager
“Things that aid in my personal growth. Improv classes, gym [passes], yoga, forex trading training, podcasts and audiobooks––self-care things. Meanwhile, I’d treat myself to a hair perm, a tattoo, Mexican food, Grab rides––YOLO things.”
Mark Arquilla, @mackyarquilla
“My own condo unit. Because it would be nice to have a place of my own especially because I come from Naga and I’ve only been renting my space here in Manila since 2015. Also, contrary to cars, properties don’t depreciate in value so that’s a good investment for the future.”
Hans Alli, @hansalli
Digital Product Designer
“Real estate properties: a condo, land, houses.”
Jessica Yang, @jesych
Fashion Model & Influencer
“Healthy food, workout classes, travel and a full body massage. [Laughs]”
Nicole Blanco Ramos, @nicoleblancoramos
Content Writer & Fashion Stylist
“All-Tempur everything in the bedroom––the mattress, pillows, comforter, down to the bedsheets. To potentially have the best sleep of your life every night of your life sounds like happiness to me. [Laughs]”
Jyl Orila, @musikanta
“One would be travel. For me, you invest in two things when you travel: the fact the you have to save up to be able to do it (book flights, hotels, food, etc.) and that you have to invest in immersing yourself in new experiences, adventures, cultural exposure, arts and so on. Second would be self-love. [Laughs] Pamper yourself after working so hard, drink vitamins and invest in skincare products (skincare is life!) Third would be personal growth and development: to enroll in short courses, attend seminars, learn a new skill and the like, because learning should never [end].”
Rachelle Ong, @rachelleanneong
“Food (I’m a Taurus, lol), sneakers because I love shoes and I can use them for a long time and lastly, classes to give me an edge in today’s job market. Paying for them is definitely a great motivator.”
Jia Achacruz, @jiaachacruz
“I’m currently saving up for a car, because commuting around Metro Manila is so stressful, even when you take Grab or a taxi. As a makeup artist that carries luggage every day for work, it’s such a hassle to go from point A to point B––not to mention the traffic itself!”
Lorraine Sandel, @loreynsandel
Financial Wealth Planner & Account Executive
“I will always treat myself to quality time with my loved ones and myself (me-time!). Money-wise, I already started investing for my future self and family with insurance and investments.”
Not bad, Millennials. Interestingly enough, the best things money can buy don’t only touch on happiness. They cover health, peace, skills, knowledge, relaxation, security, comfort and convenience. It looks like money can buy happiness after all––and a lot more things with intangible values that boost the quality of life.
So, what’s the next thing you’ll buy with your hard-earned money?
Words Christina Advincula
Art Alexandra Lara